Your presence is requested at a wedding deception.
After orchestrating a scandalous high-society ruse, Lady Jeannette Brantford is banished from her family’s estate in England and sent to live with boring elderly cousins in the Irish countryside. But Jeannette’s exile is surprisingly eventful. En route to her dreaded destination, she encounters Darragh O’Brien, a devilishly handsome architect who transforms Jeannette’s punishment into a delicious whirlwind of wits, words, and undeniable passion.
Although no less than a duke could satisfy a lady of her status, Jeannette is unable to extinguish the burning desire she has for Darragh’s smoldering looks and sizzling kisses. Little does she know, her dashing Irishman is no commoner. He’s the eleventh Earl of Mulholland–and he’s thoroughly enjoying the irresistible game of hard-to-get. But before he reveals his true identity, a little temptation and trickery are in order to teach his fair lady a lesson or two about love.
I mentioned in my review for the first book in this trilogy, The Husband Trap, that Jeanette Brantford was one of the most selfish and horrible female characters that I had read, and that the author would have to do a fantastic job to redeem her in my eyes.
Jeanette was the Incomparable of her year - the one that all the other girls making their debuts wanted to be like, the one that all the men wanted - and quite frankly a shallow girl for whom the only thing that mattered was being popular, even if achieving those aims meant hurting those around her, including her sister.
After being packed off in disgrace, the only possible thing that can make matter worse is to meet a common architect who is completely insensitive of her need to sleep past 10am each morning. What ensues is a war of wills that gets very, very dirty with practical jokes included, and a growing attraction that they cannot seem to fight.
Darragh realises quite early on that he is quite attracted to her, and attempts to tell her who he is, but she is unwilling to listen and so he decides to keep his identity to himself. Darragh is a really good hero - smart, funny and sexy. I would have been happy to read Darragh in any book - very nice indeed, and the grading that I have given this book is marked up as a result. This book once again proves that I can live with a heroine that I have issues with as long as the hero is really, really good! The only issue I have is that I am not sure that teaching someone a lesson is really a great foundation for a relationship!
Jeanette...well...I guess the author came close to redeeming her, but it wasn't a total redemption. From being a completely unlikeable character in The Husband Trap, Jeanette for me got to the point of being bearable. She will always be attracted to society and all that means, but she is also beginning to realise that maybe a bit of balance won't go astray. A few more years of lessons with Darragh and I am sure that eventually she will get sorted out!!
One interesting thing about Jeanette is her past. It was quite interesting
I commented on the cover of The Husband Trap, and said that it wasn't quite so garish as it looks in all the pictures, and that is true of the green in this cover as well. The green stripes are actually much more muted than they appear to be above!
(Finished reading on 26 December)